Corona, CA – Zip-Ty Husqvarna racer Cory Graffunder didn’t start his season off on an ideal note, but fortunately he was able to end it on one. After returning from an injury, Graffunder closed out his GEICO AMA EnduroCross season with a podium finish at the Las Vegas finale.
“I had one chance to come back and redeem myself from missing practically the whole season,” Graffunder said. “I was really excited to get on the podium and I wanted to prove to everyone that I still had the speed.”
A broken wrist only days before the X Games season opener left the Zip-Ty Husky rider on the sidelines of the STAPLES Center rather than battling for a medal. Graffunder would go on to miss out on five of the seven venues, and looked at the Las Vegas double-header as his last opportunity for redemption in 2011.
“I trained really hard in the off-season with the hope of improving from number four,” Graffunder said. “I thought I had something for Taddy [Blazusiak] but the wrist threw a wrench in my whole season. The Las Vegas finale was as eye-opening to me as it was for everyone else. I trained really hard the whole month before that and I didn’t know where I was going to be. I raced the Idaho EnduroCross round and I didn’t have much speed there, but I’d been getting better and better. In the first main, I ended up getting a good start. Cody Webb went at it and I had him covered. It was great to get on the podium again.”
The race wasn’t without a little more hardship for Graffunder, however. On the last lap he hit a barrel in a turn and re-injured his hand. In the unique season-finale format, qualified riders had to line up for two main events, which proved to be challenging – and painful – for Graffunder.
“I don’t know if it dislocated or if it’s broken, but it messed my pinky finger all up,” Cory commented. “The glove was torn off and it was all black and blue. I had to make the best of it for the second main. There wasn’t much time in between so I was in a rush to get back to the truck and figure out what went wrong and how to tape it up. I basically just had to deal with it. I was in a lot of pain and it was hard to hang on, but I got through the race.”
The great suspension of the Zip-Ty Husqvarna TE310 made life as easy as possible for Graffunder, who praised the bike’s setup.
“Ty does an amazing job on the suspension,” Cory said. “My TE310 is a really great bike. We jumped up to the 310 from the 250 and it just makes it so much easier because it’s got that smooth power off the bottom. Really the bike is close to a stock TE310. We don’t make very many modifications to it, which says a lot for the bike.”
“We’re very happy for Cory and Zip-Ty and Husqvarna that the season ended with a podium finish,” said Husqvarna National Marketing Manager Corey Eastman. “This season wasn’t ideal for Graffunder, who was going to be a star player in this year’s EnduroCross series, but at least he was able to capitalize on this final opportunity to show the speed he’s been working so hard on all year.”